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Impossible Languages$
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Andrea Moro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034890

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034890.001.0001

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Sentences as Snowflakes

Sentences as Snowflakes

Chapter:
(p.21) 3 Sentences as Snowflakes
Source:
Impossible Languages
Author(s):

Andrea Moro

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034890.003.0003

The apparent complexity of the syntax of sentences can be decomposed into the interaction of some primitive and simple operations much as the complex design of snowflakes results from conditions on molecular interactions. In fact, the entire language can be regarded as a snowflake in that its structure is not progressively evolved via casual mutation but it is rather the result of general conditions on the primitive elements and the compositional rules. Symmetry and it’s opposite, asymmetry, play a crucial role, in this process.

Keywords:   Regularities, Recursion, Structure dependency, Symmetry, Asymmetry, Dynamic Antisymmetry

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